tv [untitled] October 9, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
and that was one of the arguments is that they told us at the meeting that it will bring more people to your neighborhood. we don't want more people. [applause] commissioner levitan: ok. president buell: thank you, thank you, thank you. >> my name is jeff and i live at 45 delores, which is pretty much catty-corner from the park. by the time i heard of this and most people that i know in the neighborhood heard of this, it was already a done deal. it was no longer a question of should something go in there. not only was it decided that something was going to go in there, blue bottle and la cocina were the ones that were going to go in there. nobody in the neighborhood knew that before it was done. one of the problems with that is that whoever made the decision deprived themselves from input from the community. this is a community that knows the park better than anybody else and knows the neighborhood better than anybody else. what it knows is that neither the parks can take additional
traffic, business, nor can the neighborhood. the infrastructure simply doesn't permit it. the streets are already a gridlock friday, saturday and -- friday afternoon, saturday and sunday. there's absolutely no parking whatsoever, so last weekends or two weekends ago i was walking half a block to delores and every single driveway had somebody parked in the front of the driveway without anybody income the car. for the last -- for the last weekend, two weeks ago, but three weekends before that, there was somebody parked in front of the driveway that is next to our flat on delores. there is trash every single weekend that is overflowing from the bins. there is noise like you cannot believe. it's not just a 75-year-old woman who is worried about the noise, but for the last three weekends there has been from 4:00 in the afternoon to 7:00 at night loud deejay music, he electromusic that is playing without permit from the park.
the fact that we have to consider permanent porta-potties as a solution is an indication of how much -- how little this park can take. i do not know how it is possible that something that went -- started -- when i first heard about it was going to be a cart for coffee, and then it became a trailer, and then a van, and now it's two advance. you saw the printouts or the images that were up there. those are large things. they're l-shaped and they're circumscribing an entire section of the playgrounds in the southern part of the park. i don't know how anybody could possibly come up with this. if you had asked the community first, you wouldn't have come up with it at all, thank you. president buell: thank you. >> i'm going to read a couple of more names. larry lynch, crystal van wallstrom and alicia gomez. >> hi, my name is lucifer and
i'm a retired registered nurse. i've lived at 18th an delores street since 1989. when i first moved there, you wouldn't drive down that street. now they're fighting for parking. it's crazy. monday morning you go out there and you step in human feces. i'm not kidding. during the weekends you can't even pull your house key out. last weekend i was out having a smoke and a girl asked me if she could september into my hallway to wipe herself. i mean, nice peel, i don't blame them. they're already being brought to the park by some very successful, wonderful businesses, who all jump through the proper procedures of opening their businesses on our block. i'm glad they're discussful. they've jumped through the hoops. this lady here who opened this item up at our community meeting apologized and said she did not follow the procedure properly. so now we're stuck with permits that were given out, without
going through proper procedures. what's this town coming to? meanwhile, i have to -- i have to navigate people that want to use the bathroom and they're putting a coffee vendor in. cut me a break. and this mr. ginsberg, on the 27th as far as the hearing -- he's not even listening now. on the 27th he spoke for 31 minutes, and then he left for a prior commitment. how is that hearing our concerns? i think not. i want to get some truth out of you folks. that would be nice for a change, thank you. president buell: thank you. [applause] >> next speaker. >> hi, i'm jill. until today i did not see the map that nicole just presented. and it wasn't at our last meeting. this seems to be typical of how this patrol process has been handled. we need a better process. and, again, not having seen this new map of where the cart
is proposed to be, i simply can't comment on whether it's good, bad or indifferent until such time as things are opened up and let us see things and then we can talk about it intelligently. president buell: thank you. >> next speaker, and the last two names i have are john rinaldi and kojo. >> hi, thank you. we all know that blue bottle is a successful business that started in the bay area. however, long gone are those mom and pop days. blue bottle has been growing aggressively in the bay area. they're also in new york, hawaii and internationally in tokyo. soon one of the blue bottle accounts there's a possibility that it could be going on 18th street. they are also three blocks down the street on valencia and on the other sides of the park a couple of blocks as well. we are inundated with coffee places. it is important to recognize at our last neighborhood meeting that 99% of the community opposed this permitting process
to move forward and we don't want an enormous stainless steel trailer in our park, especially where long lines will be forming by the playground where our children play. this is not the place for something of this magnitude when our park can barely handle the flow right now. the delores park community have been misinformed from the beginning. we were told in the beginning that it was a small coffee cart. then it moved up to a kiosk status and now it's presented as a stainless streel trailer with a general athor that will be going for nine hours a day. it he's so large it has to be hitched and pulled in by an automobile. when the community asked blue bottle for a picture we were given a cartoon drawing of a tiny trailer in a park hidden behind some trees. lastly, blue bottle has noted that they want to come to delores park to create community. our delores park community was created a long time ago. the delores park community has spoken loud and clear and we do not want this in our park, thank you, commissioners. >> next speaker, please.
>> my name is larry lynch. and i live on 18th street for 25 years. 20 years ago you wouldn't dear be caught going in delores park. we don't need another vendor. we have people urinating, leaving their trash, porta-potties -- you have six porta-potties now. who wants to look at a port ta potty in your backyard? you wouldn't want them in your backyard. who's going to maintain them? you guys didn't say. you're creating another problem for our community. i think you really need to take a look at it. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> next speaker. >> commissioners, my name is john rinaldi. i'd like to defend that
petition and the wording of that petition. you had said that it was not very clear the national chain thing and you said that you would sign that petition. that petition as it was worded was kinds of a little bit of hyperbole and stuff but its intention was to create a dialogue, and it's done that really, really well. and the reason why you had to use that kind of tactic to create the dialogue is because we only had a couple of days to really get to the heart of the matter, like who's going to stand up and defend this and who's going to be against this and how is this going to work? it's pretty obvious to me that everybody is pretty much dead-set against it. however, if you would like, you can word a petition and i'll get 10,000 people to sign it in another five days. i mean, the more that this gets out, the more people are going to be like, no way. that's one point i want to make. i'd also like to define the word local. you were saying, oh, this is what a national chain is, or whatever. i'd like to say, if i were to
take a link of a chain and put it on the table and ask you to define it, you wouldn't say it was a chain. you'd say it was an oval of metal or a circle or a ring lett or something. but if you were to put four lengths of a chain together and put it on a table and say what's that, you'd say, oh, that's a chain. a national chain is defined by, you know, a couple of stores, one of them in another state. that's how you would define this kind of thing. to define the word local, though, is a lot easier than this. to define the word local, i'm going to use your definition, the parks and rec definition to define local. anybody can go in and rent delores park. anyone can. the only caveat is is that you have to be a residents of san francisco if you want to rent delores park for your event, and i'd also like to say that with every generator -- and this isn't just in this particular scenario, because we're against the giant trailer being in delores park. but if it were that you would do this, any time you say a
generator is ok you're saying ok to a five-gallon can of gas, and that would be 17 feet from a swingset where the kids play, thank you. president buell: thank you. >> next speaker. go ahead. >> hi, commissioners. my name is koji. we have selected photo carts in a plaza and we just started last week. first, i would like to say thank you very much to the park department. we are also in a program in la cocina. we are a really small company but have a bringing dream. three years ago i came up with our idea and also, we have a great product idea.
it was really tough to start our business because we are too small and a low income and the rent is really expensive. we know we have a great product from japan, but we couldn't do that. and we went to la cocina because they know a lot of things and they have a lot of connections with food people. and finally, we got a chance -- we got the vending permit and it was really great. we asked the rec and park department and la cocina and we couldn't do that, and we just want to say we really appreciate it. and hopefully la cocina and
other small business owners will have the same chance to start a business. thank you very much. president buell: thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> hello, my name is lisia. i moved to the area immediately around the park in 1994, so i've been a resident there for a long time. i saw it move from the days of being a heroin alley to being a destination park for the city. i have four points. three of them are very brief. one is the request for proposal stated, "before entering into permanent agreement for the operation of a push cart in any neighborhood park, the department will conduct a community outreach process to determine the appropriateness of such use in the park." clearly people are very upset because that was not followed. we, the community, did not know, and that is why people
are upset. we're coming in as what it feels like the ninth inning to try and stop something that is upsetting. the second thing is children have a very small footprint in the city. they have very few places to play. and we're talking about putting the push cart, the trailer, the mobile home, directly into the children's play area. they've already been pinched enough. they really don't need to be pinched there again. parents have few places to go. this is a park with a small area for children to play. that should be respected. the push cart should not be located there. thirdly, the neighborhood and the community supports and loves our nonprofits. this is not about la cocina. we believe in nonprofits. but this leads into my largest points, and i'm echoing points made from the gentlemen about marina green and hidden taxes. this is about unfair business advantage. the brick and more tar
businesses in the neighborhood have my overhead. they have been in the neighborhood a long time and they have brought it from the heroinally -- heroin alley to what it is. they should get the benefit of hard work. to have businesses come in now with a very low overhead, that does two things, one, benefits them, and, two, undercuts the purpose, which is to generate money for the park. if you're going to have them in there, charge them the going rate. don't make them -- don't move the money from the people who have done the hard work to people who are coming in at the last moment. president buell: thank you. >> you're welcome. [applause] >> james freeman. and then if there is anyone else who would like to speak, could you please line up over on either side. thank you.
>> my name is james freeman. i'm the majority owner of blue coffee. i was fortunate enough to find an investor in 2008 to expand my business. i chose that over a bank loan because i got a bank loan in 2007 and it was kind of a headache. so fortunately, it's worked out very well. but as majority owner, i make the decisions. i'm not in the back seat. and i was the one that decided, me and my team, that it would be a great opportunity to make coffee in delores park, because we loved the park. we thought it was busy enough to be viable to set up a coffee business. i would just love to talk to you a little bit about the difference between our own locations and our wholesale locations. we do in fact have four cafes in san francisco. we've signed four leases in san francisco. we have a roastry and coffee bar in oakland and we have 3700
square foot roastry and coffee bar in brooklyn, new york, and those are our locations. but we do have wholesale accounts, one of them in tokyo, one of them in hawaii and it's a custom in the coffee business, if people want to buy coffee from you, that you train them up, you roft it and you ship it to them. so we have quite a few wholesale accounts, but they're not our locations or our employees. in terms of local, i mean, we have four leases in san francisco. we pay a lot of san francisco payroll taxes. our benefits exceed the healthy san francisco threshold by a good solid, 20%, 25%. i live on mcallister street and my lovely wife, who is back there, and i were married upstairs, so i feel local. and all the controversy about the park was surprising and disappointing to me, because i feel like i've worked harder for this little trailer. it's an eight by 12-foot trailer, for those of you who
grew up rural, like i did, it's about the size of a horse trailer. could i speak for a few more seconds? president buell: please do. >> thank you. it's about the size of a horse trailer, only we'll have an espresso machine there. i think it's an attractive trailer. the reason there's a sketch not a photograph is we just got it back today. so i have a few photographs on my phone. that's why our office manager made a sketch of it. and i just feel like i've been working on this proposal for a long time, for over -- well, since november is when we had to turn it in. there's been a lot of hoops. i've worked harder on leases where there's actual brick and mortar in building things out. i think i'm going to be paying a higher per square foot than most of the prevailing leases in the mission based on our percentage rent as a company. we pay about 6% of our total revenues on rent. this starts at 10% and goes up to 12.5%.
hopefully we'll be fortunate enough to get to that threshold. i also want to say there is commerce in the park right now. people sell things in the park every single day. it's just not regulated commerce and none of the money really gets to the city or park and rec. so i'm hoping we can spend -- we can make enough coffee to pay $20,000 to $30 a year in rent to rec and park and i haven't heard a lot of other ideas in terms of where that $20,000 or $30,000 might come from. and then lastly, if this is in fact just too controversial to allow blue bottle to sell in delores park, that's a decision you have to make, i would encourage you to keep la cocina. he's worked really hard on raising money, and i think it's a lot harder for nonprofits to scramble around and get donations on his $30,000 trailer. we'll find a place to park it. we would prefer to park it in delores park.
it will be a great opportunity and we look forward to working with delores park works. but in the event this is too much for you guys, i would encourage you to keep caleb. thank you very much. [applause] president buell: thank you very much. >> thank you. my name is timothy holt, business owner, residents in the mission for 15 years. and i see this relationship with blue bottle, and i'm not sure how it came to you guys first. it seems like phil is definitely involved with the dealings with blue bottle, and i think it was done just not in the best interest of the neighborhood. definitely not in the best interest of the businesses and the residents. so my suggestion is to not do it because you're just going to get -- it's just going to be a big pain. we all support caleb and la cocina and what he does and what that organization does. we love blue bottle, but we don't want blue bottle in delores park.
so i see that park and recs needs money for delores park, and i think it was rachel who said come to the businesses and ask them to come up with ideas. sam from buy-rite i'm sure has wonderful ideas on how to raise money for delores park and the other businesses that surround there are willing and wanting to get involved in helping to raise funds with the use of delores park for the community, by the community, not by blue bottle. and i wish you guys would just think about what that will do to delores park itself. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> is there any other public comment on this item? being none, public comment is closed. president buell: commissioners. commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i recall when this item came before us. i had asked about the cart.
and i was told it was a coffee cart, but we never -- we haven't -- this is, i believe, the first time i've seen a drawing of it. i guess my question is with this cart, is this something that's going to be there permanently? and is this -- some of the speakers have alleged there's going to be a power generator that's going to be operating at all hours. you know, when this came in front of us i asked that question about the cart and i was told that out's just for -- that they would bring the cart in at the inning of the day and take it out at the end of the day. so could you please tell us? >> i'm assistant director. commissioner, ure he correct. this is a trailer that would be brought in each day prior to the commencement of operation and then would leave the park at the end of the day. and to further reiterate the
non-personalityness of this trailer, it's a fully revocable permit. the department can revoke the permit for any reason, not just for cause, with 30 days advance notice. president buell: commissioner harrison. commissioner harrison: the idea that's been presented here for them coming in and making money for the park piques my interest, not just for this area, but citywide and i wonder what can be discussed in that arena, not just for delores, but maybe further in the city. >> we absolutely welcome the conversation, commissioner. this is a combination of sort of a larger need to find sustainable revenue sources for the department. we don't have the luxury of thinking about all of our 225 parks as individual enterprises. and as you recall, we solved a
$12 million problem by pledging to raise over $8 million in revenue. with that said, we still have 3.5 million of hard cuts, which resulted in 60 to 70 layoffs and reduction in services that the very same people in this room have articulated concerns about swimming pools and rec centers and it's a difficult challenge. and we want the community to really come together. we think this is about and and not or and we're hopeful that we can work with all of our neighborhood groups on identifying sustainable revenue sources and more philanthropy for our parks. it ties into some of the vandalism conversations we've had earlier today and frankly, it ties into very much of a need for what i think something, at some point, on the ballot to provide this department with some sustainable funding.
look, you know, i think i have a lot of respect for the people who have come to articulate their opinions and positions, and i'm very hopeful that these are folks that care very much about their parks, we're not all going to agree on every issue and there's a whole lot of people that aren't here today. did we handle this one perfectly? no, i don't think we did. but nonetheless, in the last month or two we have actually gone to great lengths to try to continue to communicate and continue to listen and continue to hear both the pros. and we get letters and we have gotten people who are very supportive of us, too. but it's hard for me that if we're supportive of -- it's one thing to have concerns about concessions or amenities in our park for operations reasons. it's a little bit of a tougher conversation when we say, well, we like that one, but we don't
like that one. at least for me. so those are some thoughts. president buell: commissioner levitan. commissioner levitan: i don't want to put her on the spot because i know her, but i want to ask rachel to come up. i just want to ask you something and in the interest of full disclosure, rauchel and i know each other and we sit on a board together. but this would be helpful for you to answer. i've heard -- i'm hearing a couple of different arguments today and i think there's some muddying of what the real issue is. so what i'm hearing on the one hand in discussion of that petition, you know, contrary to what some of the other gentlemen said earlier, i don't think i agree that it is a national chain. and i think it's a little misleading to have that on a petition and to kind of get people into a lather about this when it is a san francisco-based, san
francisco-grown business. but that's not what i'm trying to ask you. is this about blue bottle, or is this just fundamentally about not having something in the park? so if this was delores parka fay putting a push cart in the park, would the community still be against it? good i think they would. i think that the community wants the park to be a public space. i think the community wants it to be a refuge from the urban grind of everyday life. there's a guy here today who practices tai chi in the park every morning. it's free to anybody who wants to come. he's done it for 20 years. they do it on the playground. to have lines of people waiting for coffee -- commissioner levitan: and a generator and, yeah. >> yeah, it's just going to change the flavor of the park. and i think people are upset, number one, because of the process. the community wasn't involved at all. and because, you know, you have
chosen someone who's baseed in oakland, ok? that's where their business is based. they do have locations in san francisco, but they're a very, very commercial company. commissioner levitan: ok, but if it was you, if it was your company in the park, would people still feel -- >> i think they would have a problem with it, because the fundamental issue is, do we want to sell our parks because we're desperate? this is a desperate measure by rec and park because we need money, you know? commissioner levitan: right, right. >> let's reach out to the businesses who are succeeding because of the park. i'm happy to help the park, if it's a tax for every receipt, you know, when people buy a cup of coffee from me, if i tack a couple of cents, do that across the city. that would generate millions of dollars for the parks.
there are lots of ideas out there like that. the ideas have to be explored. this is a matter of putting the cart before the horse. commissioner levitan: so to speak, the coffee cart. >> yes. president buell: can i ask you a question, rachel? >> yes. president buell: i've been told, and i haven't been there on a day to watch this, that there are fancy pot truffles sold there, whoopee pies, tamales, cotton candy, creme brulee. people selling all those things. i'm asking for an opinion. should we try and permit them, or should we enforce that they shouldn't exist or should we overlook those sorts of vendors? >> that's a really tough question. president buell: that's why i asked it. >> i think that you should put your heads together and try to come up with a way to generate revenue from what they do. because they're not going to stop. president buell: that's commercializing the parks, as you said. i would prefer to use the language we're providing services for people who use the
parks. it's all a perspective. but i think we'd find as much disagreement around that issue generally as well. i don't have an answer for it either. but >> those people are not only in the park, they're all over the city. they just happen to come through the park. they're not there seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a semi-pertinentñ c1 president buell: i gather from the applause that people support those vendors. thank you. commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i agree with the comments that i've heard over and over again which is that the process has been flawed and it brought us to where we are today. at our meeting some months ago when we